Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/21/17
“Well, write poetry for God’s sake, it’s the only thing that matters.”  (e.e. cummings)  Did you know that today is World Poetry Day?  One of my favorite poems is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.  I recall seeing him read one of his works at the JFK inauguration.  Some business schools require students to take a course in art appreciation.  What do you suppose is the value in that? There’s a reason why the arts are called the humanities.  Do you know why?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  e e cummings wrote very visual poetry -- literally visual. Describing a falling leaf, in a phrase that looked like a leaf.====JACK:  I thought that I could come up with a quick answer as to why e.e. cummings used lower case letters for his name.  The more I read about him, the more I understood the "why".  Sometimes he did; sometimes he didn't.  He was a unique person.  He did as he felt like doing when he felt like doing it.  I would never have found this out about him if it weren't for World Poetry Day.  BTW< E.E. stands for Edward Estlin.  I'll bet you didn't know that. ====TH:  I studied him in 11th grade English; then, again in college. So, I may not have come up with it on time to get it right on Jeopardy, at one time, I knew. And now, because of you, again.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  One of the best classes I ever took was " Humanities." It was an introduction to art, music, and literature. It was suppose to be a filler do nothing class to complete class work on my doctorate degree in education. This LA class turned out to be one of the best and most fun classes I ever had.====JACK:  Don't forget!  The humanities also include philosophy, the study of thinking.  One of my favorite quotes is by June Taylor.  "Though man a thinking being is defined, Few use the grand prerogative of mind. How few think justly of the thinking few! How many never think, who think they do!"

FROM TARMART REV:  The humanities include ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, religion, art and musicology. ... The term "humanist" also describes the philosophical position of humanism, which some "antihumanist" scholars in the humanities refuse. The Renaissance scholars and artists were also called humanists.  I went to the Michigan Renaissance one year while living there-- interesting to see the "humanist" in individuals played out during the festival. --Poor example. I know, 0;-)====JACK:  One of my philosophy classes which benefited me as a pastor was the study of various religions, of which Christianity was just one.  Humanism was another.  "By accident," I was born into Christianity (and Lutheranism).  Through my studies, I'm comfortable with that...but I'm also comfortable with friends who may not believe as I believe.  I believe that "my" God is an understanding God.

FROM DR SCIENCE (HE'S NOT A REAL DOCTOR):  My best science students were also somehow involved in the arts. They could see the details in biology that others missed. I used to say “others looked at things, but my art students saw things”. The literature students seemed to have more creative solutions to problems. They were not as confined by the answers they thought I wanted. They were a lot more fun to have in class.====JACK:  While science is not considered to be part of the humanities, scientists are human and do their thinking as humans.

FROM DAN THE MAN:  The big part of my concern with education policy is that there is very little room for other disciplines outside of subjects that are the focused on state requirements and standardized testing, which is centered on college preparatory subjects. There is very little flexibility in the schedule for young people to explore skilled trades, arts, and foreign languages.  It is my basic belief that there should be more career preparedness options in a high school student’s career than college preparedness, especially when you consider only one-third of future jobs will require a bachelor’s degree.====JACK:  I believe that "skilled trades" people are human, too, and it is to their benefit to know what it is that makes them human.  I think that a "welder" would be a better welder if he/she knew what makes for a better human.  Is there some way to shoehorn a basic humanities course into your educational curriculum for the non-college student?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  My favorite course in college was Humanities.  We were required to attend plays, symphonies, art museums, etc etc.  My children's schools had Picture Ladies, of which I was as one.  We got copies of art from the Detroit Art Museum.  We studied the artist and the medium and presented the works to the children free in Kindergarten to 8th grade.  We loved it and so did the kids.  Studying humanities is so important.====JACK:  How does the thinking arise that only the elite are able to appreciate the humanities?  And yet, when funds are short, the first classes to be cut are usually the arts.====JUDY:  Supposedly the tri-counties pay taxes do everyone can enjoy the Art Institude.  It seems to me a lot more people's have taken advantage too.  But I do agree the schools cut the arts out as the first thing for budget cuts.  That's a big shame too!!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Poetry seems more abstract now, than it did when I was growing up, and teaching literature. I suppose we've all tried our hand at it, if only to paraphrase a song for a special occasion, or deliver an "ode" to a loved one. Bill was pretty good at that!  I don't know a specific reason why arts are called humanities, but would it have something to do with feelings and moods and feeding of the soul, that art inspires?  Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, etc. etc. all so appreciated!====JACK:  You don't have to be a poet, an artist, a musician to appreciate the humanities.  You only need to be human.  Although I have read about an elephant that enjoys painting.  People pay good money for some of his work.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  He's a poet  and doesn't know it.  But his feet show it.  They are Longfellows.      Remember, God is creative. And the humanities all come from creativity
====JACK:  I see that you appreciate the classics when it comes to poetry.  But since you are also trained in art, you know about creativity.  I appreciate creative people.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  why?   now you have made me curious...====JACK:  "Put on your thinking cap," as elementary teachers used to say.  (I wonder if teachers say that anymore?)  The humanities are those things that add to the condition of being human...the study of languages, art, philosophy, music, history, literature, dance.  Part of today's social problems is that too many people skipped class when it came to the humanities.  They don't know what it is to be human.

FROM CS VISITING IN CALIFORNIA:  Well, it certainly has softened my opinion of George bush--interesting article about his painting in the New York Times .  As you probably know, there is a book out about his paintings.  Some well known critics are surprised about the humanity in them.  He has had  some excellent painters coaching him.  I think it was in yesterday's Nyt.  I saved it and will send it when I get to a wifi location.====JACK:  That's it!  The humanities help us to understand human beings.  George is more than an ex-President; he's a human being.  I especially see it, because he is painting...and I love painting.  There's a human side to him.  I like this song...and it's melody.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.

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